Rising From the Holocaust - The Life of Fanny Goose
By Fanny Goose with Janet Fridman
Fanie Stenbock is a young, irrepressible teenage girl, growing up in a small Jewish town in Poland, when the Nazis
take over and make everyone’s life unbearable. By degrees, the community unravels until it is totally destroyed.
Only by an endless string of miracles does Fanie survive. She is determined that she will live as a witness to tell all she has seen. No matter how horrible the devastation, including the loss of her family and friends and entire community, her inner resolve and her faith in God keep her hopeful for a better future.
Her indomitable spirit cannot be destroyed and her constant goodwill towards others brings the support and intervention she needs to help her survive. Many risk their lives to save hers, including a priest and nuns who hide her in a monastery where she is kept dressed in religious garb to disguise her race and religion.
When the war is over, Fanie returns to find her whole town obliterated, with only a small tree remaining on the grounds where her family home had once stood. This tree was one that had been planted by her father on the date of her birth, and beneath its trunk, among the roots, she finds, hidden in the dark soil, heirlooms that had been hidden by her family who had since perished in the ovens of the Holocaust.
She meets Jerzy Gusz, a hero from the Jewish underground, who she finds attractive and exciting. They decide almost immediately to get married as the only way for Fanie to get an exit visa is for them to be a married couple. Fanie and Jerzy eventually find a way to travel to North America where they make a new life for themselves.
They take new names – Fanny and Jerry Goose – and become respected members of their community, with Fanny in particular becoming politically influential. No prime minister or municipal politician would hope to be elected without first coming and getting Fanny’s blessing.
This story, with its many twists and turns, and with the uniqueness of its main character – Fanny Goose - will leave readers in both tears and laughter.
Author Fanny Goose lives in London, Ontario, and is known affectionately as “The First Lady of Downtown”. She and her husband, Jerry, are Holocaust survivors. They have two sons, Martin and Steven, and three grandchildren. Fanny’s survival story has previously been captured in Steven Spielberg’s Holocaust video project called the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.
Co-author Janet Fridman, originally of Sheffield, Yorkshire, resides in London, Ontario with her husband, Professor Emeritus Gerald Fridman.